'The people you live with' : gender identities and social practices. beliefs and power in the livelihoods of Ndau women and men in a village with an irrigation scheme in Zimbabwe

C. Vijfhuizen

    Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

    Abstract

    <p>Conventional gender theories shape to a large extent the outcomes of studies concerning Shona culture, gender relations in agriculture and irrigation. Subsequently, women are depicted as subordinated and passive actors and as victims of patriarchal (family) structures.</p><p>In Southern Africa including Zimbabwe, little research has been done by perceiving women as strategic social actors who also reproduce and transform everyday life. The present study, then, aims to shed light on the question of how Ndau (Shona) women and men themselves use, transform, and manipulate rules, beliefs and normative/value frames in practice and thereby shape practice and vice versa.</p><p>Power is an outcome of those processes. To explore everyday village life I have used the concepts of practice, power and discourse. In order to understand the social dynamics in everyday life I have used an actor oriented approach.</p><p>I have studied everyday life by distinguishing 'fields' which are analysed per chapter as follows:</p><UL><LI>social relations and more in particular kinship and marriage (ch2);<LI>the establishing and running of homesteads, where I also explore the allocation of my own place in Manesa village by village head Manesa and the building of my own house of poles, mud and grass (ch 3);<LI>agricultural production outside and inside the irrigation scheme and how women shape the value of agricultural produce (ch 4);<LI>allocating and holding the land in an irrigation scheme under construction and an existing irrigation scheme (ch 5);<LI>politics in Manesa village and Mutema chieftaincy where the woman spirit medium of Makopa emerges as an important arbitrator and power broker (ch 6);<LI>spirit and witchcraft beliefs in practice (ch 7).</UL><p>Chapter 8 is a retrospect tying together all the different themes and chapters while exploring the new perspectives which emerged from the study regarding gender, Shona and irrigation.</p>
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Long, N.E., Promotor
    • den Ouden, J.H.B., Promotor, External person
    Award date29 Sep 1998
    Place of PublicationS.l.
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs9789054859130
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Keywords

    • social structure
    • irrigation
    • social behaviour
    • social customs
    • men
    • women
    • agricultural production
    • zimbabwe
    • gender relations
    • gender
    • identity
    • social relations

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